Editor’s Note…One of the best support systems I have is an online group comprised of parents who are also raising gender variant (GV) children. Known only by our first names and the state from which we reside, I have come to depend on this incredible network of people for the smallest of questions and some of the biggest of concerns. Over the years we have shared the fears, struggles, and joys that we face rearing children that have a strong sense of self at an uncommonly young age. Moderated by Edgardo Menvielle, a leading authority on GV kids, who is based at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., this group has linked me with other parents who provide the type of comfort that can only come from understanding. In honor of Mother’s Day I share (with permission) an excerpt from one of our dialogues. A mother of an older GV child sharing her experience with parents of younger children…her words are filled with love and really could be applied to any parenting situation any of us might face. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who are always in their children’s corners.
“…at the end of the day all that really, really matters is that your child knows you love them unconditionally, you’ve got their back and you will try as best you can to understand. Some days you’ll get it, others you won’t. Other adults, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors might think you are making big mistakes. You will muddle through as best you can, loving your child through all sorts of ups and downs, dumb stuff, frustrating stuff and amazingly, in a blink of an eye, your kid will be 18, maybe trans, maybe not, maybe gay, maybe straight. And what I now know is what you really, really want is a happy, confident and competent young adult who is able to make friends, develop their interests and passions, someone who can strike out on their own and also know they can still ask you for help if they need or want it. Do what you can to stay in their corner…some days you will be the only one there.”
For more information on this online support group sponsored by the Children’s National Medical Center click here.